After a failed attempt to sign him in January, Fabio Carvalho was Liverpool’s first signing of the summer, and Pep Lijnders has now explained why they were so desperate to get him.
One of Fulham‘s standout performers in their title-winning Championship campaign last season, Carvalho is said to have been wanted by a host of other top clubs in Europe.
However, Liverpool made sure they were at the front of the queue to secure his services, and the 19-year-old looks ready to make an instant impact this season.
The Portugal under-21 international has impressed in his first month with the club and looks to be another stern addition to Jurgen Klopp‘s side.
Having mainly operated in the No.10 role for Fulham, one of the main questions upon his arrival at Anfield was where he will fit into Liverpool’s team.
He has been used both as part of a midfield three and on the left side of the attack in pre-season, and Klopp’s assistant Lijnders has singled out Carvalho’s ability “between the lines” as one of his strongest attributes.
“He’s a player who feels really comfortable between the lines, who has all the skills to break the last line with all different ways; with a dribble, with a pass, with a combination,” Lijnders told Liverpoolfc.com.
“So safe on the ball in these moments. Always with the goal in mind.
“You saw that after the first [pre-season] game when he missed a chance – he said, ‘Next game I will score.’ That’s the mentality and attitude we search for him as well.”
Carvalho is just one of a number of talented young attacking midfielders at the club, including the likes of Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott, the latter of whom knows Carvalho well from their time together at Fulham‘s academy.
At just 19, Liverpool will be hoping they have recruited a player who has many successful years ahead of him at Anfield, with Lijnders also pointing out Carvalho’s personality as a reason the club felt he was a good fit.
“We’re really happy with him, he’s a real prospect,” Liverpool’s assistant manager continued.
“The good thing with talent and young players is they only will become better, they will not become worse, if they keep this attitude. And he has a great personality as well. Bless him, what a boy.”
The Reds have another gem on their hands.